Seems like there are two parallel universes in the country today. One is more than 100 rayons with no amalgamated hromadas established so far. Their life is still the same with no changes. And 705 AHs, that have switched to direct relations with the state budget. Here they compete for an investor, for development projects. It is worth only paying attention to the battle of ideas for this year's financing of local programmes from the State Fund for Regional Development. The Government allocated UAH 5.8 billion among 755 projects. This means that new schools, kindergartens, hospitals and stadiums, new roads, bridges, restored historical monuments and administrative service centres will appear in the regions. And behind each project, financed from the budget or implemented at the expense of local taxes and fees, there are people who make decentralisation feasible and make its theoretical part entirety practical. Where did they come from, these “new people”?
At the start of the reform, in 2014, there was not enough trained personnel for its implementation. Everyone understood that the reform needed different, non-Soviet-minded people, who live by projects and development, and not as dependents.
“Every hromada should have people capable of assuming responsibility for exercising powers that have significantly expanded during decentralisation,” says Maryna Bryl, head of the DESPRO school of local self-governance. “Otherwise, there may be chaos instead of life improvement after amalgamation. The AHs have strategic planning committees. These committees, together with the hromada leader, become the students of the school. They return with some homework. In school, they are taught systematic, large-scale thinking. The training continues online, there is a powerful electronic library, experts can provide advice.”
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By Vitaliy Kovach
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